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Heritage celebration gains support

American Indian Heritage Month should be exciting, thanks to a host of events from American Indian Student Services.

Members of the Walatowa dance group will perform in the SUB Atrium today, and a UNM President’s Office representative and the director of Native American Studies will speak, said Pamela Agoyo, director of American Indian Student Services.

Agoyo said this year’s recognition of American Indian Heritage month has had more community participation than in past years.

“I think that this year we’ve had a more concerted effort and collaboration across campus between our office and Native American Studies and our student organizations,” Agoyo said.

Support from President David Schmidly’s office encouraged students, staff and community members to participate in Heritage Month, Agoyo said, especially since support from administration hasn’t been regular.

“I think Tuesday is important because we actually are going to have recognition from administration — from the President’s Office,” she said. “There hasn’t necessarily been the recognition from the administration and from any leadership in the past, and so I think that speaks to the president’s commitment to American Indians on our campus.”

Lansing said student organizations, including Kiva Club, Native American Studies Indigenous Research Group and American Indian Business Association are participating in events throughout the month.

He said the Indigenous Nations Library Program will host lectures about the UNM Law School and Native American health.

“They’re going to be putting on a lecture which will feature the dean of the UNM Law School,” Lansing said. “We’ll also have the Center for Native American Health showing a documentary at American Indian Student Services to promote health awareness.”

Lansing said one interesting event is “Red Tuesday,” which will coincide with Black Friday during Thanksgiving break.

“We’ll have an Indian market in SUB Ballroom B pretty much all day,” he said. “We’ll have Native arts and jewelers there selling for anyone who wants a nice gift for the upcoming holidays.”

*American Indian Heritage Month kickoff
Today 10 – 11 a.m.
SUB Atrium

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